by Erick Copello

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 Making a big change in your life is always exciting, especially when its a complete 360.

You've made plans, deliberated what-ifs, and tackled what it means to emigrate to the United States to start a new life and business.

Then, once you arrive, you realize that because you're not a citizen, you don't know how to comply with local laws.

How do you start a business and pay taxes? You aren't sure what to do next. An individual tax identification number referred to as ITIN would solve your dilemma. When you're an immigrant and haven't acquired a social security number, you can fill out an ITIN application.

Once approved, you can use an ITIN to apply for loans and submit the taxes you owe to the Federal government. Here's how a woman used an ITIN to operate her small business.

An ITIN Opens Financial Doors

Sofia Samayoa emigrated from Guatemala and opened a concept restaurant in her community.

Her small restaurant has a Latin vibe that customers are attracted to. The cherry on top is her do-it-yourself concept, where clients can choose from a wide arrange of topics, different types of tortillas and spicy salsas to make their tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas, she even offers some pizzas with Latin-influenced-toppings for those who are less adventurous.

Sofia anticipates that her business will keep growing because of the positive feedback she gets about the cuisine and friendly atmosphere.

Even though she's a legal immigrant, she doesn't have a social security number. What concerns her most is knowing it's mandatory to pay taxes, but even though she wants to, she doesn't know how to submit what she owes.

Sofia is worried that she could jeopardize her legal status by not complying with governmental regulations. If she were to not submit her taxes, the IRS would impose penalties and fines for not doing so. Sofia doesn't want to raise any red flags as a foreign national and intends to follow the necessary steps to stay in compliance with the Internal Revenue Service.

She also needs to apply for a business loan to purchase equipment but doesn't see any way to meet the requirements.

A friend tells her that by filling out an ITIN application she can resolve these pressing issues. The nine-digit number enables her to file a tax return, get a business license, and apply for loans.

Sofia must submit an ID such as an original passport or birth certificate and fill out a form. Moreover, once she completes the application, she can mail it or hand deliver it to an IRS taxpayer assistance office. It's even possible to attach a tax return with the application that's sent to a designated mailing address.

Once Sofia submits the ITIN application, she should have the number in about six weeks.

With an ITIN, Sofia can open a business account, get a credit card, and apply for the loan she needs. Each time she submits a tax return, Sofia documents that she legally pays taxes and is actively working to earn income.

Make the smart choice, fill out an ITIN Application

Sofia realized the importance and ease of filling out an ITIN application to make sure she could operate a business legally. Regardless of your immigration status, it's imperative to apply for an ITIN when you're required to report income.

As you can see, the process is straightforward and easy. Once you have an approved ITIN, you can start building your life in the U.S. as you imagined it.

So what are you waiting for? Don't hesitate to find out what you need to do to gain peace of mind and enjoy the many benefits of having an ITIN.